About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Guitars - 1 Timothy 6:7
Whenever I listen to Vince Gill's 1991 song entitled "Look
At Us", tears will begin to flow.
It was probably my dad's favourite song from 1991 to the day he
died on June 7, 2001. He
was captivated by the slow, smooth sounding, steel guitar solo in that
song. He'd say it sends shivers up his spine. I certainly
understand dad's feelings, so without exception, a steel guitar always
reminds me of my father.
Even though my taste in
music is more diverse than what dad's was, like dad, I enjoy a good
song. I also play guitar,
although dad had more raw talent than I have.
He played lap steel in a country band in the late 1940's.
You could hear the band every week on their radio show or see
them playing their hearts out at dances across the countryside.
Dad could have easily
ended up in
In the 1950's dad traded
his lap steel for a triple neck National steel guitar.
Dad was more than a guitar player.
He was a husband and a father.
For that reason, he felt compelled to sell the National steel to
buy his family a refrigerator. That
must not have been easy for him. That
left dad with an old flat top, as he called it, acoustic Kay guitar.
By the time I was a teenager I wanted to play guitar. I attempted to learn on dad's old Kay, but that was difficult. According to dad's own words, he had no patience to teach anyone, including me, how to play a guitar. He simply showed me three chords; G, D, and C. That was it. I would figure out the rest on my own.
When it came time for me
to buy my own guitar I bought one of the best.
In 1969 I purchased a new Gibson Southern Jumbo, a guitar that if
I still had today would be next to priceless.
Like many guitar players, I've got my stories of stupidity.
In the process of swapping, buying and selling guitars,
guitarists win some and lose some, which for me included losing my
Dad loved that Gibson.
He was probably just as downhearted as I was when after owning it
for just two weeks I hit it on the corner of a piano bench in a Free
By 1974 my brother,
sister, and I, were on our own so dad and mom had some disposable income.
Dad gave me the money to travel to Toronto
to buy him a Martin D35 like mine. Driving
a hundred miles to Toronto saved us both $250.00 on each of our Martins.
Dad would often say that
you never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer.
The Apostle Paul pretty much said the same thing when he told
Timothy that we brought nothing into this world and it's certain we can
take nothing out of this world (1 Timothy 6:7).
With dad's and Paul's words in mind, here's the rest of my story.
In March 2001 the doctor
told dad his back pain should leave by the end of the month, but it
didn't. X-rays and scans
during the first week of April showed dad's back pain was due to a
massive ball of cancer pushing against his backbone.
That, along with liver cancer detected by the scans would take
his life at the age of 77.
Back in the 1960's dad
was fortunate enough to buy his National steel guitar back from the man
to whom he sold it. After
that, it never left his possession until he realized his guitar playing
days were over. It was one
sad, even pathetic, moment when dad told me to take his steel guitar
home with me. He knew the
hearse wouldn't be pulling a U-Haul trailer to his gravesite.
Two weeks later, while
helping my weakened father into the bathroom, he told me that I might as
well take his 1980 square neck Dobro home.
I pulled it out of its case and slid the steel bar across the
strings, wondering if I'd ever get the hang of playing a Dobro.
Dad assured me that I'd catch on to it.
Well, playing guitar with a slide instead of my fingers isn't as
easy for me as dad made it out to be.
A week before dad left
this world, in a voice riddled with resignation, he told me to take his
Martin. Words can't convey
how I felt at that moment. That
guitar was his prize possession; and now it was the last to leave his
possession. Of course, dad
brought nothing into this world and he wasn't going to take anything out
When Jesus returns to
earth with the saints to rule this planet for a thousand years, dad will
return with Him. From my
study of the Bible I believe dad will be playing guitar during those
thousand years, and just maybe, I'll finally get the hang of playing a
Dobro. Until then,
especially in times of social and financial uncertainty, "Godliness with
contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and we
can take nothing out of it. If
we have food and clothing, we will be content (1 Timothy 6:6 - 8).
Now there's some advice that
should be fundamental to any Christian's personal financial policy.